NAME: Belinda Pavlovic
JOB & INDUSTRY/WHAT DO U DO: Aeronautical Engineer – Royal Australian Air Force
FAVOURITE BAND: Kite String Tangle / Noah and The Whale / The Lumineers
FAVOURITE SONG: Summertime Sadness (had this on repeat on my solo trip to Greece, so it reminds me of that!)
FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST + WHY: Lana Del Rey. Some of her music has gotten me through some hard times/emotional feelings that I felt quite connected to in her lyrics. She's openly admitted to having a dark side in her past and I love that she owns that and pulled herself together.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
"I figure out how things work, and make sure they keep working. This just happens to be in aviation because I think its pretty incredible that humans have figured out a way to fly. So I wanted to know how we did that. I’ve been in aviation since I was 18, from technical (mechanic) to now engineer. I keep trying to learn different aspects of physics and maths because its fundamental to helping me understand my work, and also I really enjoy it!"
IS THIS WHAT YOU ALWAYS DREAMED OF?
"Well, I dreamed of being a pilot…. And I tried but I failed.. and for some reason I didn’t try again? Im not sure if I only wanted to be a pilot because it sounded cool… but I didn’t really give it a good crack. So I'm not surprised I didn’t get the job. My ‘fall back’ career turns out to be pretty spectacular and I don’t regret a thing. And theres a good chance at some point in my life I’ll go and get my pilots license, but it fell off the priority list a long time ago when I fell in love with where I was going."
THREE OF YOUR HARDEST MOMENTS?
"Isolation during my first year of training. I was 19 living on base and there was barely any other females (And I mean, there was probably 10 of us, and 1000 guys). I really didn’t have anyone who I could talk to about girly stuff. I had some great guy mates (who are still my friends today!) but I felt like I couldn’t talk to them about how I was feeling. I kept a diary at the time, and one (drunk) entry said “I miss having my group of girls".
Isolation during my degree in Canberra. (isolation is having a bit of a reoccurring theme here…). Made some really poor choices and struggled to find my way out of a dark place. But learnt probably the most significant things about myself during that period, and I can honestly say that while it still hurts to think about, its shaped how I respond to difficult situations today. Its made a pretty big impact on reassessing my values and has definitely built resilience.
Running a marathon (actually, two). This struggle is a real testament to the mental toughness to keep going , and is a transferable life skill (see above!). I found marathons not long after I finished my Degree, and that sense of achievement that only comes with doing something you never thought you could."
DO YOU HAVE RITUALS? WOULD YOU SHARE ONE WITH US?
"I get up before the sun, and run/gym as the sun is coming up. Theres something empowering about running along the beach/road/park as the sun is coming up and you know most people are in bed sleeping but you’re out getting it done."
DO YOU HAVE A GIRL GANG? WHY DO YOU LOVE THEM?
?Bloody oath I do. I actually have a few (since I’ve moved a lot with work). I have really needed them through so much of my life, and I really noticed when I didn’t have them around. I like talking shit with them, I like crying with them for no reason, I love arguing with them for no reason. I call my best friend my wife. She's the most annoying person on the planet and I couldn’t be without her. She lets me be me - even when ‘me’ isn’t the best version of myself (but she’ll pull me up on that pretty quick too… hahaha)."